Archive for May, 2008

Finding a place for Twitter

Been spending more time with twitter. I don’t want all my tweets coming through as text messages. I’m told I spend way too much time with my phone as it is and some of the people I follow are producing an amazing amount of content.

So how to I stay connected as part of my normal workflow?
I like Twitbin. A Firefox extention that allow me to get tweets from people I’m following as a sidebar on my browser.

But this happens alot

Anyone have any suggestions?

Check it out: The Fall of Steve Jobs

From NotCot. Awesome. Whatever happened to Steve Jobs anyway?

Why I Keep This Blog

1.  It helps me appreciate how hard it is to create and maintain an audience.  Even when the tools make the creation easy.  Every media professional should keep a blog for a while for just this reason.

2.  It helps me think through things that I need to articulate.

3.  I have a small group of people I think to poke with ideas.  They all read the blog and will respond.  I would talk with all of them but not as often as I can blog.  This gives me scale within my social set… I guess.

4.  I realize how half-assed a lot of my thoughts are.  Keeps me humble.  God may spell dog backwards but putting it in a post shines a pretty cold light on the smallness of that thought.

5.  I love my job at FM and I love helping authors and marketers create media but I miss creating it myself.

6.  Yesterday I had 70 page views on my blog.  If I were selling ads on this blog for a $100 cpm (yeah right) I would have made $7.  If that doesn’t motivate me to work hard I don’t know what would.  See reason #1 again.

7.  I don’t journal.  As a blog ages you start to forget where your head was at a particular time.  The time invested starts to provide you with a time capsule.

If you haven’t started a blog.  Do it.  For a month with an option to extend.  3 posts a week.  Give it a try.

Oberkirch: “Marketing is not a Tax You Pay for Being Unremarkable…”

Great post here from Brian Oberkirch. A snibit:

Marketing is the method by which your product or service becomes remarkable. The phrase is only true if you equate marketing with marketing communications, which is pretty shallow & ignores the vast majority of marketing that works.

(Thanks Deb!)

Reactions to Karp’s “Traditional Ad Formats Fail On the Web”

For those who have heard me say this before, forgive me but I must respond to Scott Karp’s recent post on ad formats on the web.

Advertising typically embraces the formats of prior media formats and evolve into an indigenous format. So too will online advertising. Content is already there. Early sites typically behaved like an online magazine. Now content creators are harnessing the unique properties of the web to create content much more suited to the medium. Twitter, social networks, simpler content management systems (i.e. blogs,) etc. The NY Times is link blogging for God’s sake!

With respect to ads, most other types of advertising could not lead the customer directly to further action. TV ads could point you to a web site, a car dealer, a phone number but you had to leave one experience to begin another. Advertising was about embedding a slogan, idea, phone number into your head. My daughter learned the number for Empire carpet really quickly. She would sing the song. A pretty effective ad. She will likely always remember Empire carpet’s phone number.

Online advertising can seamlessly transfer a subject from an ad to an immersive experience. The trouble is that the ad formats typically don’t factor that into the equation. They are still focused on getting people to (figuratively) remember a phone number.

What’s more, most marketers really don’t seem to want or, perhaps more likely, don’t think about the differences in the mediums. They will and advertising will get better. Now, many ads are based on altered versions of their offline materials. The advertisers that embrace the medium and harness the unique potential of the platforms are doing amazing things. Google keywords were the first but it is not the only and certainly not the last.

For people interested in this discussion and similar discussions, please attend Federated Media’s Conversational Marketing/Media (CM) Summit in New York on June 9th and 10th.

Advertising Will Stall Search Quality

There I said it.

I’ve been working with Thomson Reuters on a sponsored series of pieces on the Future of Search. The latest post is John Battelle’s thoughts on Microsoft’s Cashback initiative. Then today a post by Mike Troiano about how Google Sucks. The posts got me thinking about the relationship between search engine quality and monetization.  I think the two diverge pretty radically and I think we are getting there quickly. 

Google doesn’t suck. It is an amazing business made by people who had the discipline to focus on building a great product and then married it to a business model that scaled like nothing seen before in advertising.

In the process of Google creating a market cap that rivals small countries one thought has surfaced over and over in my head. Search quality will almost certainly suffer as search advertising revenue growth rates slow (and they will.) The best search experiences will not surface the most monetizable ads. Ultimately, search engines will need to cede more and more pixels to the ads and the user interface will require designs that maximize ad performance. If a search engine really does its job, learns what I like, who I am, where I am, etc. the organic results should always outperform the paid results. Always. Period.

The future of search will require different sources of monetization. Think I’m wrong?

What Do the Markets Think About the Future of Ad Agencies and Google?

Rafat has a brief interview with WPP CEO Sire Martin Sorrell here. One quote from the interview:

“…you add up all our market caps in the top four (global advertising groups), I think we get up to maybe about $50 (billion) maybe less — $40-, $45 billion market cap…You add up all of our revenues we get to about 33-, 34-, 35 [billion]. So we’re 50 percent bigger than (Google) on revenues and combined market caps of the four (ad groups, including WPP) is about a third or a quarter. So the market’s saying something about the relative growth prospects and dynamics of the last four businesses and their business. I don’t think… the position has changed whatever the companies that you mentioned were saying.”

So you see WPP buying companies like 24/7 Media and WPP’s Mindshare becoming a full service marketing/PR/creative/ad placement/branded content shop…

The Paper of Record Link Blogging!

Scott Karp post here. An excerpt:

It’s great to see “the newspaper of record” has so evolved on the web — gone are the days when they to claim they have the last word on a topic or issue. The Times realizes that there is a rich universe of journalism on the web, and they can best serve their readers by helping them find the best reporting, alongside the NYT’s own gold standard reporting.

Scale Clouds Quality Online

We Online Business People pray to the gods of scale. Does it scale? Do you have scale? I read an article in the trades recently quoting someone that said about a deal “now we have scale” triumphantly.

Scale matters in advertising. If you do something that works you want to know you can do more of it. If you invest time and effort into a project you want to have the reach to have this effort move your business.

Scale matters. But influence often comes from composition rather than reach.

Chris Anderson comments on some data from PubMatic that shows the long tail is able to charge more than the head. The value, Anderson argues in this multi-year focus on the long tail, comes where the scale isn’t. Put another way, there is more value and potential influence with more focused, smaller areas of the web.

Then comes the data on average CPMs across a sampling of 1000s of websites (click to enlarge image)

2 thoughts:

1. Those are wickedly low CPMS. Even the markedly higher “small” websites (less than 1,000,000 page views a month) are averaging $1.29 per 1000 impressions!

2. Scale and quality do not have to be separated but the filter of quality will always create a smaller offering. It would seem that the industry excitement with scale is creating an environment where impressions are, as Wenda Harris Millard once said, traded like pork-bellies.

How Your Brand is Truly Perceived

My colleague blogs here about Brand Tags. Probably the most fascinating site I’ve seen in a long time.  People are asked to tag brands.  If you’re a brand manager, you need to know this.  Really fascinating.
Exxon’s most tagged item – Valdez

Blackberry – Crackberry

Whole Foods – Whole Paycheck

Amnesty International – Peace.
Warning – don’t go to the brand tags site if you only have a moment.  You need 15 minutes minimum.
(thanks again James!)